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The Bechtel International Center will be closed on Fridays from June 14th to September 3rd.

F-1 and J-1 Student Visas

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The F-1 and J-1 visas are the only student visas used at Stanford University.

Most students study with an F-1 visa. Not all students qualify for the J-1 visa. Stanford policy prohibits your using a J-1 visa if you are funded more than 50 percent by personal or family funds. You qualify for either an F-1 or J-1 visa when you receive a 50 percent research assistantship (RA), teaching assistantship (TA),  or fellowship from Stanford University.

To apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa stamp, you must first obtain an I-20 form (for F-1) or DS-2019 form (for J-1). These forms are issued by Bechtel International Center. You must include them in your application when you apply for your F-1 or J1 visa stamp at a U.S. consulate or embassy.

Keep in mind these important points when you apply for an F-1 or J-1 student visa:

  • As an F-1 or  J-1 visa holder, you may enter the United States up to 30 days before your program start date indicated on your visa documents.
  • If you bring your spouse or children with you to Stanford, they are considered dependents on your visa and each must obtain their own F-­2 or J-­2 visa.
  • You should not enter the U.S. on a tourist (B-1/B-2 or WT visa waiver) visa if your intent is to enroll in school.

Comparison Chart

 

F-1 Visa

J-1 Visa

Employment Opportunities

On-Campus Employment Before

Graduation

  • No authorization required
  • Allowed for 20 or fewer hours per week during academic year
  • Full-time work allowed during the summer and on breaks between quarters
  • Must obtain approval from Responsible Officer (usually International Center)
  • Allowed for 20 or fewer hours per week during academic year
  • Full-time work allowed during the summer and on breaks between quarters

Off-Campus Employment Before

Graduation

  • Optional Practical Training (12 months or less)
  • Curricular Practical Training (unlimited, with conditions)
  • Internships with International Organizations
  • For reasons of Economic Necessity
  • Allowed for up to 20 hours a week and full time during school breaks
  • Academic Training (18 months or the length of your program, whichever is shorter)
  • Allowed for up to 20 hours a week and full time during school breaks

Off-Campus Employment After

Graduation

Post-Completion Practical Training - total of 12 months, (may be limited by time spent in Optional Practical Training prior to graduation)

Academic Training (restrictions are the same as those for participation prior to graduation)

Funding

Proof of Funding

  • Must show proof of 9 months of funding for graduate study
  • Any personal funding must be verified with a bank statement or letter of support from a scholarship source
  • Must show proof of funding for entire term of study
  • Any personal funding must be verified with a bank statement or letter of support from a scholarship source

Funding from personal or family

income (including loans)

Unlimited

Must be less than 50% of total funding per year

Dependents

School Attendance

F-2 spouse may only engage in part-time study, and the F-2 child may only engage in full-time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade)

J-2 dependents may attend school part time or full time

Employment of dependents

Not allowed under any circumstances

Allowed if dependents can prove their earnings are not needed to support the J-1 visa holder;  Employment authorization is required